Traffic Information on and Statistics on Online Media Consumption

In mid-May I had an opportunity to attend the MITX Marketing Technology Series event in Boston, which showcased various social media platforms and technologies, including Feedburner, Pajamas Media, Wild Tangent and Fox Interactive ( The archived presentations can be found on the archived events page of the MITX website, and I’ve also put them here as well:

  • Eric Olson, Publisher Services, FeedBurner, Inc. (PDF)
  • Craig Teich, Senior Director of Sales, WildTangent (PDF)
  • Tom Troja, Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Pajamas Media (PDF)

All 4 presenters had about enough presentation time to give a high level overview of their company, how it relates to the topic at hand, and illustrate a few success stories or case studies (I did find Tom Troja’s presentation very informative however, and definitely will investigate Pajamas Media). It’s often difficult for them to dig into the finer detail of some of the features and functionality of their tools and services (and I am not certain if most of the attendees were interested in that), but I was able to obtain some interesting data on from John Trimble’s (Senior Vice President, FOX Interactive Media) presentation on social networks. Interestingly enough, this is the only presentation not available on the MITX events page.

General Data and Traffic Information

  • 66.3 million monthly users
  • 115 million+ member profiles
  • A 37% reach of the US online population
  • 87% of members are 18+ (attempting to rebuke the mystique that MySpace is just for teenagers)
  • While the bulk of the MySpace user community can be found in North America, MySpace has expanded it’s reach across Europe, Australia, Latin America and Japan

Trimble highlighted that according to a recent report from eMarketer, MySpace accounted for nearly 12% of all time spent on the U.S. internet in the month of December, 2006.

The report broke down “time spent online”* as follows:

  • MySpace – 11.9%
  • Yahoo – 8.5%
  • MSN – 3.7%
  • eBay – 3.7%
  • Google – 2.1%
  • AOL – 1.7%
  • Pogo – 1.6%
  • Facebook – 1.0%

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, US data, January 2007

Applying to a Marketing Strategy
Trimble also highlighted a successful case study from Cingular, which used MySpace as a tool for online promotion and communication with it’s customers and users. While the sheer numbers were impressive, the key takeaways were:

  • Investing in the time and research to understand what the MySpace user wants, not in selling a product. That means focusing your branding around content and information that the user base is interested in, which is not usually a black and white sales pitch.
  • Foster an environment of interaction and contribution (Trimble highlighted a user-submitted video contest which encourages users to listen to featured music)
  • There has to be incentive to gain (at least initial) participation through contests, free content (ringtones, graphics) and communication
  • The value in MySpace, as a marketing tool, was that the community was able to gather over 70,000 users, directly interested in the message that Cingular was driving to. While these users may not all become customers, consider how valuable it can be to have a user-base that is directly connected to your marketing department?

Interesting Data on When and How Users Spend Their Time Online*
Finally, here is some information on how today’s generation is spending their free time and when users are most likely to be online, using Social Networking websites like MySpace. The question was asked: “If you had 15 minutes of free time, where would spend it?” (in a poll of Social Networking sites users age 14-29)

  • 17% – Social networking
  • 17% – Talk on cell
  • 14% – Watch TV
  • 10% – Surf the internet
  • 9% – Play console video games
  • 8% – IM
  • 7% – Listen to MP3 player
  • 1% – Listen to the radio

When are you using Social Media/Networking websites?

  • 15% – First thing in the morning
  • 16% – Before school/work
  • 18% – Lunch
  • 25% – At school/work
  • 31% – After school/work
  • 68% – Evening – Prime Time
  • 30% – Late night (10pm-4am)

One additional chart, comparing the media consumption of online users that do not classify themselves as Social Networking Users, versus those that do.

Statistics on Media Consumption

*Source: Never Ending Friending, May 2007 (MySpace, Carat, Isobar)

Final Thoughts and Recommendations
It should be noted that all 4 presenters at the MITX event added these recommendations for businesses and individuals looking to use social networking and media sites as a way to gain and interact with customers and build their brand recognition.

  • You have to be honest and forthright in your communication strategy. Even you are compensating guest authors or promoting a specific sales pitch, it’s the honesty upfront that matters.
  • Following up on that, when you make mistakes, own up to them, apologize and react quickly to the situation.
  • In order to leverage a social media strategy, you have to be invested in it. That means that once-and-a-while content usually will not lead to the success of your strategy. Users of social networking sites need to be engaged, be presented with something of value to them and should be allowed to contribute, provide feedback. More importantly, they need to feel that their feedback and communication is really being listened to and considered in the company’s strategy online.


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